“How Clean Is Your PC?”

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“How Clean Is Your PC?”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

When it comes to your PC’s Cyber security do you do everything possible to prevent Cyber-attacks and data breaches? Do you use strong passwords? Do you know what constitutes a strong password? Do you avoid any suspicious emails that could lead you into a phishing attack? Do you use two-factor authentication on the accounts that allows you to do so? Have you ever wondered if that is enough? If that is really all it takes to secure your digital information?

 

When you hear the phrase “spring cleaning” you automatically think of cleaning your home. Doing the dishes, sorting cloths, and scrubbing every inch of your home. But, “Spring cleaning” can also refer to cleaning up and separating your digital junk from your valued digital information.

 

If you think that you do not have digital junk, you do. Whether it is old and forgotten email accounts, forgotten thumb-drives, or years’ worth of information in the download folder, everyone has digital junk

 

All unwanted and forgotten files are considered liabilities, a danger to you and your valuable digital information. In the event your digital devices are hacked, stolen, and/or lost, holding onto accounts and files you do not want and/or need opens you up to all kinds of risks. So, cleaning your digital devices is important when securing them.

 

So, where do you start your digital “spring cleaning”?

  1. Address your physical devices. Devices should be cleaned, destroyed, and disposed of properly. Only after you go through all the data and back-up what you want to keep.
  2. Go through your desktop and all your documents. It is important to go through and get rid of any old documents containing personal information, such as: medical and banking information.
  3. Delete any emails you don’t need or want. With your email being the data center of your online life, secure the emails you want to keep and delete the ones that you do not want.
  4. Cancel any account you no longer use. Before deleting any software, clean out and close the account. By doing so, this makes sure the company retains the smallest amount of information as possible about you. It also prevents any more information about you from being collected.
  5. Cancel any email account you no longer use.

 

If you have any questions about Data Security, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Security, or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“A Travelers Guide To Protecting Your Data”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

When you hear the word “summer”, what is the first thing you think of? Vacation? Travel? Did you know that most people wont leave home without their smartphones, tablets, and/or computers? Have you ever wondered how traveling can compromise your digital security?

 

People tend to think of vacations as a time to get away and un-plug from the world, both the digital world and physical world. But, it is not realistic to believe that you will NEVER go online while traveling. Yes, it is fun to post pictures and status updates on your social media accounts in real time. But, did you know that by doing so, there is a possibility you are opening yourself, and your digital devices, to cyber criminals?

 

When traveling, public Wi-Fi might seem like a great thing. It allows you to check your email, work, and post updates to your social media accounts. But, as convent as it is, connecting to public Wi-Fi can also be dangerous. Cyber Criminals can take over public networks, and logging onto a corrupted network allows cyber criminals access to your:

  • Personal details
  • Credit card numbers
  • Passwords

 

The data that you, as a traveler, bring wherever you go is valuable and desired. It is important that while traveling you do everything in your power to keep your digital information safely out of the reach of cyber criminals.

 

How? Here are a few tips.

  • Only Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks. When connecting to a public network, consider using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. This will ensure that your confidential information stays private. A VPN will also ensure that your data goes directly from your device to the network that you are connecting to.
  • Update Your Devices. Updating the software on your devices, as well as the applications updates, is important. Even though the constant update reminder can be annoying, it is your devices way of protecting you and your data.
  • Do Not Use Public Computers. Never use public computers when logging into to banking, email and social media accounts. This means computers in hotel business centers, as well as in-room iPads. Crooks can install keylogging software to track your keystrokes.
  • Secure Your Mobile Devices. Set a PIN for your devices. Setting a PIN can protect your device from unauthorized users.
  • Use Cash Whenever Possible. Using cash whenever possible while traveling keeps your credit/debit card safe from fraudsters. But, if you are to use your credit/debit cards, be cautious.
  • Backup all your devices. Before going on your trip, whether it is for business or vacation, it is a good idea to back up your mobile devices. This allows you to be able to retrieve your information if lost, in case of emergency, or stolen.
  • Critical information should be stored in a different location. When traveling, it is a good idea to store any critical and private information temporarily in a different location. Examples of different locations are: Flash Drives, Mobile Devices, or Cloud Storage.
  • Make sure your computer’s firewall is enabled. Enabling your computer’s firewall helps stop hackers from getting into your system, as well as keeping viruses from spreading and safeguards outgoing computer traffic.

 

If you have any questions about Digital Security, Hacking, Cyber Security, Computer Forensics, or Mobile Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“The United States of Chatbots: How Chatbots Are Crawling Into Your Everyday Life”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Have you ever communicated with a Chatbot? Do you know what Chatbots are?  Did you know that Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are considered Chatbots? Did you know that Chatbots are running rampant through social media, such as Twitter? Did you know that Chatbots are therapists and lawyers?

 

Chatbots are computer programs that mimic human conversation through Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI. These computer programs can respond to text messages and/or digital chats, such as Facebook messages, carrying out conversations with the people on the other end of the chat. Those receiving the messages would not know that the account they were communicating with was controlled by a robot rather than a person.

 

So, how many types of Chatbots are there?

There are 2 categories of Chatbots today:

  1. Rule-Based Chatbots. Which are Chatbots that can respond to a specific command.
  2. Artificial Intelligence Chatbots. Which can respond to natural language.

 

A Chatbot is a form of software that has a few layers that make it work:

  • Database: To store product information, customer data, and customer transactions.
  • Application Layer: A set of instructions that gives the app its functionality.
  • Application Programming Interface: Also, known as a API, connects the app to other services to get things like shipping quotes or process payments.
  • User Interface: How the users tell your app what he/she wants or what he/she is interested in.

 

Chatbots use these layers to work in the same way as a human manning a help desk. If a someone asks Chatbot a question, The Chatbot will use the information to respond in the same manner as a human would. The more a Chatbot communicates with people, the better understanding of human interaction the Chatbot acquires. This is because the Chatbot has more information archived in its database to refer to when conversing with a human.

 

So, what is the big deal about Chatbots?

Chatbots are extending their spider like reaches into many aspects of life. In New York City and in London a Chatbot is acting as a Lawyer. This program has helped thousands of people with traffic citations. More accurately it has successfully contested 160,000 citations.

 

The cost of this help?

 

FREE!

 

Attorneys working in this field of law should be concerned about being replaced, by a significantly cheaper solution.

 

It is not just attorneys that should be worried. A Chatbot who goes by “Woebot” is now acting as a therapist. This Chatbot was created by Psychologists from Stanford. This Chatbot uses common therapeutic techniques daily to assist individuals in managing mental health.

 

The concerns regarding Chatbots extends farther than replacing humans in the work force. Chatbots have a much more sinister use. This use is disseminating false information in mass. On Twitter, there are thousands of fake accounts controlled by Chatbots. These Chatbots were created for the sole purpose of spreading partisan directed fake news. This dissemination of false information is a problem because it creates distrust for those reading the information. What is worse is that the way in which these Chatbots are disseminating Fake News on Twitter.

 

This dissemination has intensified because the thousands of Chatbots are posting the same fake information, and using the same “Trigger Words”. By using the same “Trigger Words” this fake news trends on Twitter. This manipulation of the “Trending Algorithm” for Twitter forces unsuspecting individuals to view the Fake News on the trending section of Twitter.

 

In the Future, these negatives associated with Chatbots may outweigh the helpfulness these algorithms offer.

 

If you have any questions about Chatbots, Cyber Security, or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at out office at (954)727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.